|Without The Howard School, I would not be the same person that I am today.||Who Is the Howard Student?|
Expertise in Language-based Learning Differences
Language teaching permeates every aspect of The Howard School. The communication components of Understanding, Speaking, Reading and Writing are key cornerstones of our program. Language is what we are all about!
Explicit focus on language development occurs in the context of a rich curriculum that includes English Language Arts, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Studies, Physical Education, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.
Speech language pathologists work together with classroom teachers at every level of the school in a classroom-based model. (see more) In the classroom, students learn to ask questions with specificity, delve into higher levels of vocabulary, and take notes from reading or lecture. They learn to understand and write complex sentences necessary to conveying the essence of all the academic disciplines.
On any day you might see students expressing themselves through discussion, poetry, song, art, movement, or technology.
Student Self-Advocacy and Student-Run Conferences
We believe that it is essential that students have a clear and non-judgmental understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, and that they know how to advocate for their own needs. Whether it is the need for movement, keyboarding instead of handwriting, expressing knowledge in creative ways, or asking for information to be repeated or rephrased, we want all students to confidently speak up for what they need. Whereas in most schools students hand in their work and await a teacher’s opinion of it, we ask our students, “What do you think of your work? Is it high quality? How do you know? How could you improve it?”
To these ends, our conferences are student-run and reflect the belief that understanding one’s process of learning is as important as the knowledge itself. To prepare for conferences students are guided to:
- Chair and lead their conference.
- Deepen their understanding of their personal learning profile.
- Identify strategies that complement their personal learning approach.
- Set benchmarks for learning throughout the year.
- Identify and characterize their passions and interests.
- Develop and present a portfolio that demonstrates growth.
Our goal is to teach students to think critically about their work, and themselves. We know that metacognition (awareness of one’s own thought processes), self-reflection, self-knowledge and flexibility are critical in school and in life. When students are keenly aware of their own learning profile and what strategies work best for them, they become empowered to advocate for what they need, whether a digital textbook or extra time to map out a project.
A Full and Robust Curriculum